ENNIS, Texas (CBSFW.COM) – An Ennis mom says her daughter was sexually assaulted at a longtime, widespread North Texas honest and she or he doesn’t consider the competition did sufficient to guard its younger staff.
“It simply breaks my coronary heart. I damage for her. I do know she’ll by no means be the identical once more.” Three years later, Kelly Brignon says her daughter is in remedy and recovering, however their battle is much from over.
“It was a spot I felt secure,” says now 17-year-old Paige Brignon. She grew up going to the Scarborough Renaissance Pageant in Waxahachie. “I’ve needed to work there a very long time.”
And in 2018, when she was 14, that occurred. She obtained a job within the memento store.
However she says what occurred weeks later has modified her life eternally. “I used to be closing the store and it was simply him and me…”
Court docket paperwork state a 28-year-old coworker “locked the door, grabbed her by the throat and violently pushed her…”
Paige Brignon says, “I used to be scared. …I didn’t know what to do.” She tells the I-Group she was sexually assaulted.
A former worker, then 28-year-old David James Ford, pleaded responsible to 2 counts of sexual assault of a kid.
Brignon says he attacked her, not as soon as, however twice, on the competition.
Brignon’s mother and father have spent the previous a number of months protesting the favored occasion. In court docket paperwork, they state the organizers by no means did a background test on Ford, have been “negligent” in hiring him, did not “supervise staff” and didn’t “present safety.”
“Once we spoke out, folks have been livid. They don’t wish to maintain (the competition) accountable,” Kelly Brignon says. “There may be an excessive amount of cash, historical past, commercial, income…”
The Brignons additionally realized their daughter doesn’t seem like alone.
Ellis County data present the sheriff division was known as to the competition 3 times since 2013 by victims claiming to be assaulted by staff.
The county confirms, in 2018, David Joshua Danforth pled responsible to 4 counts of aggravated sexual assault additionally on the competition additionally involving a 14-year-old. He acquired a 30-year jail sentence.
“It occurs as soon as, name it a fluke…However when it occurs over and over and also you don’t change your hiring practices, there’s a downside, and also you don’t care about staff.” The teenager’s mother says neither she nor her daughter have heard from anybody at Scarborough because the incident. “There’s been no accountability. It’s enterprise as regular.”
They are saying, to get accountability, they don’t seem to be solely battling Scarborough, but additionally Texas legislation.
“Scarborough Faire’s provider deemed it as a employee’s comp claims.” Kelly Brignon can’t perceive why this occurred. “Sexual assault is against the law. It’s not right here for employers to cover behind.”
She says Scarborough and its insurance coverage supplier categorised the sexual assault as a compensable office damage barring it from additional duty. Due to that, she says the household’s civil go well with is stalled in court docket ready for a choose to resolve if it could actually transfer ahead
Paige Brignon says the ache and this battle is unending. “It’s going to stick with me… No child deserves to undergo this. I shouldn’t have needed to develop up at age 14.”
Right here’s what the CBS 11 I-Group realized in regards to the legislation:
Texas Division of Insurance coverage, Division of Employees’ Compensation Solutions
1) Does staff’ compensation cowl sexual assault?
Relying on the information of that declare, a sexual assault might be coated beneath staff’ compensation. If an damage is roofed beneath staff’ compensation, it’s known as “compensable.” For a sexual assault to be compensable, the information should present that the assault was directed on the sufferer in his or her capability as an worker or due to the employment.
2) Are prison acts coated beneath staff’ compensation claims?
Accidents ensuing from prison acts of third events might be coated beneath staff’ compensation. An instance of this may very well be a retailer theft the place a clerk is assaulted and injured. This can be a prison act dedicated by a 3rd social gathering, and the clerk’s accidents could be compensable.
3) If a staff’ compensation declare is filed is there an occasion you can additionally file a civil lawsuit?
There could also be conditions the place a civil lawsuit might be filed due to a work-related damage. Some examples embrace:
1. If an employer chooses to not present staff’ compensation insurance coverage for its staff, then the worker can sue the employer.
2. If an employer retaliates towards an worker for submitting a staff’ compensation declare, then the worker can sue the employer.
3. If a piece damage was attributable to a 3rd social gathering, then the worker can sue the third social gathering (not the employer). Nevertheless, earlier than the worker recovers any cash from this sort of lawsuit, the employees’ compensation insurance coverage provider should be reimbursed for all the advantages it paid to the worker.
The legislation prohibits an worker from suing an employer with staff’ compensation protection. The one exception to that is if the work-related damage: 1) leads to the demise of the worker, and a couple of) was attributable to both an intentional act of the employer or the gross negligence of the employer. Solely beneath that circumstance can beneficiaries of an worker file a lawsuit for the extra exemplary damages. There are conditions the place, even when the damage shouldn’t be compensable, the worker nonetheless can’t file a lawsuit towards the employer.
Extra Info from the Texas Division of Insurance coverage, Division of Employees’ Compensation
Employees’ compensation protection in Texas is voluntary. To qualify for staff’ compensation advantages, the employer should have staff’ compensation insurance coverage, and the worker should have been injured or contracted an occupational illness on account of their employment. Whether or not a staff’ compensation declare is compensable or not is a case-by-case willpower by the insurance coverage provider.
If the worker disagrees with the insurance coverage provider’s determination, they’ve the best to dispute a denial or different points regarding their staff’ compensation declare to DWC. DWC has an administrative dispute decision course of for this goal. We encourage anybody who has been injured at work to contact us with questions on their staff’ compensation declare or report a staff’ compensation declare. They’ll name us at 1-800-252-7031 for assist at any level throughout their declare.
Injured staff can go to our website for extra assets like movies on navigate their declare (Your Information to Employees’ Comp), or FAQs about staff’ compensation. All of those assets are supplied in each English and Spanish.
Scarborough Renaissance Pageant response
Scarborough Renaissance Pageant® does all the things in its energy to make sure the security of all of our staff, individuals and patrons and to conduct the most secure occasions doable.
Scarborough Renaissance Pageant® doesn’t make use of underage staff. Scarborough Renaissance Pageant® does rent younger folks in accordance with the State of Texas’ employment legal guidelines and adheres to all pointers relating to their work hours and supervision.
Scarborough Renaissance Pageant® has a zero tolerance coverage for any kind of inappropriate habits or harassment. If there may be ever inappropriate or suspected illegal habits by any of our staff, individuals, or patrons, we cooperate absolutely with native authorities to instantly handle such issues.
It’s our understanding that the Paige Brignon matter was filed as a Employee’s Compensation declare by Ms. Brignon. Scarborough Renaissance Pageant® doesn’t touch upon any kind of litigation.